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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Just a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

By Tom Quinn

In the opinion of many Utah softball fans, it’s about damned time that Meghan Dyer and Kara Foster got some recognition from the Mountain West Conference.

Earlier this week, Dyer and Foster were named the MWC Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, for their impressive play at last weekend’s USF Louisville Slugger Tournament.

Dyer, a senior hurler from Tracy, Calif., went 2-0 in wins over New Mexico State and Maryland, striking out 21 batters in the process. Opposing sluggers couldn’t buy a hit against Dyer. She posted an impressive .58 ERA and held the Aggies and the Terrapins to a combined batting average of just.100.

“Meghan is a very gifted athlete, a talented pitcher and a great? competitor,” said head coach Angie Jacobs. “She has been laying well all season long, and I feel like she is very deserving of this award.”

Not to be outdone by Dyer’s defensive efforts, Foster tallied a team-best seven RBI, helping the Utes to a 4-1 record at the USF Tourney. Her .917 slugging percentage was tops for the Utes, as were her on-base percentage (.571) and batting average (.500).

For both players, this recognition has been a long time coming. Although they may have stepped it up a notch or two last weekend, Dyer and Foster have been among the top performers in the conference since the season first started.

Dyer, for example, has been particularly sharp for the Utes in 2007. She has been on the mound for nine of the team’s 12 wins, and presently leads all Utah pitchers with a 1.79 ERA.

Although Dyer will ultimately spend just two seasons at Utah, she has a chance of going out as one of the top pitchers in school history. The 122 strikeouts she has picked up so far this season have already moved her into fifth on the school’s all-time list.

In contrast to Dyer, who had already spent time as the Utes’ top pitcher prior to this season, Foster, a true freshman, has very little experience as the Utes’ No. 1 slugger. But in spite of her youth, saying that Foster has been a pleasant surprise for the Utah coaching staff would be selling the Derby, Kansas native a little short.

“I had already seen Kara (Foster) play club softball, so I knew what she was capable of before she got here,” Jacobs said. “She’s a true competitor. We’re all very fortunate that she decided to come to?Utah.”

After spending the last few weeks playing at tournaments all over the country, the road-weary Utes will finally get a break this weekend. Dyer and Co. will return to action next Tuesday against in-state rival UVSC.

“We try to schedule breaks like this once or twice every season,” Jacobs said. “We’re just going to use this weekend to try to regroup both mentally and physically.”

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